New stores, another elevator and an expanded food court are among the changes to Aberdeen Mall shoppers can expect in 2020.
New common areas are almost finished being built in the former Sears space— vacated in 2017 when the retail giant went out of business — while new tenants earmarked for the two floors are busy putting together their stores.
The 120,000-square-foot area will remain walled off from the rest of the mall through the Christmas holidays until the first new tenant is ready to open, mall general manager Sandra Neufeld told KTW.
Aberdeen Mall hasn’t made any official announcements regarding new businesses in that space, but Marshalls, Fresh Street Market and Old Navy are all expected to open next year, possibly in the spring.
The Marshalls banner can be seen on the second floor from the south side parking lot while a Cushman and Wakefield map of the mall shows Fresh Street being placed on the first floor.
The city, meanwhile, has confirmed it received a building permit for the construction of an Old Navy store.
More stores could still be coming to that section as, Neufeld said, the mall is still looking to fill vacancies.
A popular layout floated for the former Sears space is to have four tenants on the top floor and two tenants below, but that will depend on the final number of businesses and the square footage each requires, Neufeld said.
“That’s one way that it could be laid out, but some of those spaces could be carved up into multiple smaller units or some of the larger units could be cobbled together,” she said.
This year, the former Sears was “stripped back completely to just a concrete shell,” Neufeld said, noting any vacant store space remaining in that section when the first new tenant is ready to open will be kept hidden behind temporary walls.
“It’s been a busy year and there’s a lot of work left ahead of us, and we’re looking forward to signing additional deals with new tenants,” Neufeld said.
“We’re looking forward to being able to announce the deals we have signed to date.”
A new elevator and staircase will also be featured in the former Sears space behind the food court.
That new amenity has been completed, but remains behind a temporary wall that won’t come down until construction is complete.
The mall’s food court is expanding into a portion of the former Sears, with additional seating and two new units for vendors located near the new elevator.
There will also be renovations to the existing food court, incorporating new flooring, seating and ceiling tiles, but that work won’t begin until January and will be done after hours to avoid disrupting food service.
The mall is also seeking to have a health centre open in the Sears space adjacent to Fresh Street Market and food court, having placed a classified ad calling on medical professionals to move in.
Neufeld said the ad yielded a couple of inquires, but no lease agreements have yet been realized.